The new Nexus 6 is a powerful smartphone that can do a lot of things, and one of them is act as your own personal WiFi hotspot. A portable internet connection that can be shared to the iPads, Nexus 7 or laptops we all use, and let them connect to the internet anywhere there is a cell phone signal.
Whether you call it a personal hotspot, portable hotspot, mobile hotspot or just tethering — we’re talking about using Google’s Nexus 6 smartphone to connect other devices to the internet. Our smartphones signal and internet connection for data can be shared and essentially deliver faster speeds than many home WiFi networks to your laptop or tablet, no matter where you are.
It’s a concept and feature many users still don’t understand, but essentially you can share your phones connection to other devices, and make them have internet access while you’re out and about. Like at the part, or while traveling. Below we’ll explain just how easy it is to use your Nexus 6 (or any Android phone) as a personal hotspot and internet connection.
The most common method is to use WiFi tethering. All this does is shares your phones connection over WiFi to any of your devices. Whether this be your laptop, or sharing it with tablets in the car for your kids. This process is similar to how you connect to the Starbucks WiFi on an iPad or Nexus 7, only it’s using your phones connection, instead of Starbucks overly used and slow internet access. There’s also USB tethering that’s more secure, maybe a bit faster, and works great to share that connection with your Macbook Pro or laptop of choice.
The easiest method is to pay for hotspot features from your wireless provider like AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile. Sadly this will usually cost an extra $10-$15 a month unless you’re on some of the recent family plans or high data options. Many of the mobile share plans we’ve been seeing the past 6-8 months have hotspot enabled, for free. Just make sure you don’t tether too much and go over your data limit, otherwise you’ll have extra fees to pay at the end of the month.
If your plan offers tethering and hotspot features, or you’ve paid to use them, below are the few simple steps you’ll need to take to turn it on, rename your connection so you can easily find it, and secure it with a password so others don’t use it. It only takes a few taps.
To start owners will want to head into settings and set up the WiFi or connections name and password, then turn it on and start sharing the personal hotspot. Then you simply connect your Nexus 9 or other devices to the Nexus 6 WiFi. Here’s how.
Pull down the notification bar once, then twice for expanded view to tap the “settings” button, or swipe down with two fingers. Once in setting the first column is Wireless & networks, so just tap the “More” button.
Then select tethering & portable hotspot, and start by hitting “Set up WiFi hotspot”. Choose a name and password, and hit save. Then simply tap “Portable WiFi hotspot” as show below and it will flip the switch and turn it on. You’ll see a round icon in the top left of the notification bar, similar to the WiFi logo, but slightly different.
See, easy right? Once you go through the initial setup which only requires a few minutes of your time, or less, you’re all done.
Now all you need to do is turn on WiFi on your other smartphones, tablets, laptop, or any other wireless device and search for your new Nexus 6 hotspot. I named mine “My N6” so it’s easy to recognize. Once you find your newly created hotspot simply login with the password you’ve just created, and you now are using your Nexus 6 as a personal hotspot and sharing its internet connection with your other devices.
USB or Bluetooth
WiFi tethering for a personal hotspot is the easiest, and doesn’t require any wires. However, users can used a USB cable to do what’s called a wired tether. Sharing your Nexus 6 connection via USB to a laptop, which will also charge your smartphone at the same time. The same settings menu above has USB Tethering you can turn on, or Bluetooth tethering for those who still want to take that route as well.
If you’re like me and would rather not spend an extra $10 or so a month for tethering features, there’s a few options available to you. Our favorite is Klink, since it’s a simple wired connection, but Easy Tether Pro and other options are also available. You can also root (jailbreak for Android) your new Nexus 6 and use an array of the tether apps from the Play Store, or pay for something like Tether without root if you really need a hotspot but can’t afford the $10 per month price asked by carriers.
Last but not least, it’s a good idea to add a data usage reminder or alert so you don’t spend all of your data plan tethering to a tablet and watching Netflix. We know Breaking Bad or the Walking Dead are addicting, but you don’t want to go over your data limit. Head into Settings > Data Manager > and set the slider at an appropriate limit to keep yourself safe.
That’s it. Enjoy internet on any of your device, anytime, as long as you follow the steps outlined above.